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Two Great American Collectors of Chinese Ceramics: Morgan and Freer

Pope Memorial Lecture Chinese ceramics specialist James J. Lally compares the aesthetic philosophies and acquisition practices of two great American collectors: J. P. Morgan, the so-called king of Wall Street, and Charles Lang Freer, founder of the Freer Gallery of Art. The lecture complements the exhibitions The Peacock Room Comes to America and Chinamania: Whistler and the Victorian Craze for Blue-and-White. Morgan and Freer were close contemporaries, and despite very different origins, their biographies present many parallels. A century ago both were successful businessmen and voracious art collectors, and both acquired large holdings of Chinese ceramics—yet, their methods and resulting collections diverged in the extreme. While exploring a particular moment in the history of American collectors of Asian art, this lecture suggests how the stories of Morgan and Freer relate to collectors of Chinese ceramics today. The Freer Gallery of Art and The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Length: 57:15

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